Feeds

Samsung backside-bitten by emoticon patent trollery

WHEN WILL THE MADNESS CEASE?

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Samsung’s patent lawsuit against Apple over emoticons has bitten the smartphone maker in the behind, with a patent troll hoarder called Varia now suing Samsung over the same thing.

At the bottom of it all is our relentless pursuit of the laziest possible way to carry out the most mundane activities. Since emoticons are intolerably tedious to type, a screen prompt to “insert smiley” is indispensable.

So far, so good: but someone in the US Patent Office saw fit – I’m not joking here – to grant a patent for the business of popping up a list of emoticons on the smartphone screen as a user convenience. That patent was granted to Samsung, which is using it as a skirmishing-front in its ongoing war with Apple.

However, the new lawsuit filed by Varia states that Samsung has based its case against Cupertino on an infringing patent – and Varia is the hoarder that owns the patent Samsung is infringing.

In papers filed in the US District Court (NY southern district) and posted to Docstock, Varia says US Patent 7,167,731, Emoticon Input Method and Apparatus predates the patent Samsung holds, and is infringed by Samsung.

“The ‘731 patent covers a mobile communication device having an input key that, when pressed by the user while in text mode, results in the display of a list of emoticons for selection by the user,” the complaint states.

“Samsung is presently a party to a patent infringement action with Apple in which it is asserting US Patent No. 7,835,729 … therefore … Samsung has recognized the value of the type of invention embodied in the ‘731 patent”.

It is, in a way, delicious. Samsung’s best defence would probably be to have the patent voided on the basis that the “insert smiley” function is too obvious to warrant a patent. That, however, would unload one of the guns Samsung hopes to fire at Apple. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!
Redmond sporran metrics get one in the ten ring
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Murdoch to Europe: Inflict MORE PAIN on Google, please
'Platform for piracy' must be punished, or it'll kill us in FIVE YEARS
Bono: Apple will sort out monetising music where the labels failed
Remastered so hard it would be difficult or impossible to master it again
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.